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The Application of the Metacognitive Model of Desire Thinking and Craving in Problematic Social Networking Sites Use.

Psychiatric Quarterly 2023 October 22
Cognitive models of addictive behaviours have highlighted the central role of Desire Thinking (DT) - a conscious and voluntary cognitive process orienting to prefigure images and information about a positive target-related experience - in increasing craving and maintaining addictive behaviors. The metacognitive model of DT and craving posits that metacognition plays a central role in understanding dysregulation in DT. The current study aims to test the role of metacognitions about DT, DT, and craving in the relationship between Fear of Missing Out (FoMo), boredom proneness, negative emotional reactivity and Problematic Social Network Sites Use (PSNSU). A sample of 529 participants (Mage = 32.45 ± 13.33; F = 62.9%) completed an online survey. The hypothesised model produced an adequate fit to the data and accounted for 86% of PSNSU variance. FoMO predicted positive metacognitions about DT (PMDT), which predicted DT that, in association with craving, predicted PSNSU. Boredom proneness positively predicted PSNSU directly and indirectly through the serial mediation of PMDT, DT, and craving. A direct path between negative emotional reactivity and PSNSU was found. The current findings provide preliminary evidence for applying the metacognitive model of DT and craving in PSNSU. PMDT and DT may be central cognitive processes in craving and PSNSU for individuals who experience boredom proneness and FoMo.

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